News - 1st April 2021

I will not lose


I started parkrunning after I was introduced to parkrun by my colleague Christiaan Prent. We both needed to work on our fitness level so he told me about Kimberley parkrun. This stimulated my interest and I accordingly joined this excellent fitness initiative.


I enjoyed parkrun because it provided me with a great opportunity not only to improve my fitness level but also to make parkrun friends. It was very rewarding to run and receive results that encouraged me to always strive to beat my PB. Before lockdown, I used to go to Kimberley parkrun with my son Monthati, my family friend Mr Setlolela and his kids, and my colleague Christiaan Prent. For the six months that I was in Kwazulu Natal province, I used to go to Pongola parkrun with my colleague, Chaplain John Mabusela. In Pretoria, I used to go to Valhalla parkrun with my son Monthati.


Physical fitness is one of the most important aspects in the military, hence individuals are required to take personal responsibility to improve their fitness level. I had noticed that my fitness level wasn’t up to the required standard so I had to find ways to work on the same. The best decision I had ever made in this regard was to join parkrun. Because of parkrun, I was able to set a good example of physical fitness to my colleagues and performed exceptionally well during physical fitness evaluation.


I was diagnosed with breast cancer in July 2019. I had been battling with the same and side effects of treatment since then until I was cleared in October 2020. Even in the midst of a heated battle with cancer, I was fortunate to still participate in light jogging. I’ve lost my physical fitness that I had gained through participation in parkrun but I’m working towards regaining the same.


When cancer invaded my body, I was physically fit thanks to parkrun. This had helped me in my battle with this intruder. The side effects of the chemotherapy treatment that I received had the potential to affect my heart negatively but because of parkrun, my heart was strong enough to offset these side effects. Although my fitness level is not as good as it used to be because, I know that it will improve once I start with parkrun again.


I’ve published a book titled “I will not lose” in view to raise cancer awareness. In this book, I also touch on methods I had adopted to maintain fitness during my cancer treatment.


Mmathapelo Maine

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